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As makers, we are always looking for ways to support each other and our communities using our craft. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to virtually unite. As we say: Together, we make. We have rounded up the most useful free patterns for those looking to make their own face mask.

DIY face masks in response to PPE shortage

The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) available for health workers worldwide, are leaving frontline workers ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients. In response the Mayor of New York has urged NYC citizens to cover their faces while outside. This should be considered a last resort until more effective PPE can be provided, and social isolation and social distancing should still be practiced first and foremost. Please follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) of when, where and how to wear a face mask effectively. 

If you do find yourself in a position where you are advised to wear a face mask and don’t want to buy valuable PPE that medical staff need, here are a few simple patterns you can use to make your own cloth face mask.

Free sewing face mask pattern

Sarah Maker's free face mask tutorial

Follow SewCanShe's face mask tutorial

Remember to always follow government guidance

While less protective than surgical masks, homemade cloth masks can trap germs from coughs and sneezes that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, and potentially infect others. However, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has recommended that the sterilization of used cloth face masks is vital and offers a number of methods. Remember:

  • Your mask should have good coverage and a snug fit, reaching above the bridge of your nose and below the chin. 
  • Use a fabric tie instead of an elastic band for a better fit and add additional layers of fabric for extra protection. 
  • If using a cotton or a cotton blend, ensure that the mask is washed regularly and thoroughly.